Body to save wildlife in conflict-hit countries

Kathmandu, September 13 :

A Kathmandu-based NGO will act as the secretariat of the newly-formed International Coalition for Conservation in Conflict (ICCC), which aims at conserving wildlife in conflict-hit countries. The concept of ICCC was developed at the end of a three-day international conference on conservation in conflict held from September 5 to 7 in the capital.

Wildlife Watch Group (WWG), a Kathmandu-based conservation-centred non-government organisation has agreed to function as the secretariat of the ICCC, which has 22 countries as members, for the time being.

“We are going to serve as the secretariat for the ICCC,” said Mangal Man Shakya, the chairman of WGG, adding that the coalition will promote inter-sectoral and multi-cultural

dialogues to increase awareness and public support and develop codes of conduct and operational guidance during and after the conflict.

He said that instead of watching while everything is destroyed and lamenting after the conflict ends, this coalition will work while the conflict is on and, as strong and committed “bio rights” activists, they will intervene and urge the warring parties to save nature and wildlife. “The ICCC will also assist countries in holding international conferences and technically support the local conservation organisations’ work,” he added.

Twenty-two participants representing different organisations of 18 countries — Afgha-nistan, Bolivia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Colombia, Finland, India, Kosovo, Liberia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Uganda, United Kingdom and United States — attended the conference. The seminar ended with a “Kathma-ndu Declaration” which mainly urged all governments and ar-med rebels to save bio-diversity from the impact of the conflict.